Lincoln MKZ Concept Debuts in Detroit Marking Rebirth of Ford’s Luxury Arm

2012 Detroit Auto Show

Finally revealed in Detroit, the MKZ Concept signals the next step in Lincoln’s reinvention.

With the all-new Lincoln MKZ, Ford is hoping to reinvigorate its luxury arm that has been stagnating for years. Revealed at the Detroit Auto Show, the MKZ concept strongly hints at the production model that will be arriving at dealerships this year and gives insight into Lincoln's design future. "The MKZ Concept's shape is a vision of simplicity completed with just a few strokes," said Max Wolff, Lincoln design director.

"Our movement as a brand is toward something we call elegant simplicity. It's something warmer and more restrained, which is moving away from complex designs and traditional luxury." Although Ford claim to be "essentially introducing a new brand" with the MKZ Concept it is clearly identifiable as a Lincoln, with a modern interpretation of the split wing grille featuring multi-unit LED lights a standout example of its familiar design elements. The Cognac-colored exterior when viewed in profile reveals a sleek and sweeping roofline giving the car an elegant, aerodynamic appearance.

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This is accentuated further by a panoramic glass roof integrated into the body spanning uninterrupted from the windshield to the top of the backlight. At the rear, LED technology permitted a thin full-width tail lamp graphic we spied in the teased photo released yesterday, while exhaust tips integrate cleanly into the fascia. The proportions of the MKZ concept, shorter and wider than the 2012 model, will likely be mirrored by the production model, although the slender side mirrors and lightly tinted glass roof may not make it.

A comfortable, functional interior features wood, aluminum and satin finishes with Champagne-colored leather seats, and a host of innovative technology such as a 10.1-inch TFT LCD operated with the latest MyLincoln Touch and a flush-mounted center 8-inch LCD touchscreen. Ford has not been specific about the mechanicals under the hood other than to say the sedan, riding on an all-new midsize platform, can utilize multiple powertrains in FWD and AWD configurations. The MKZ will however feature the Lincoln Drive Control and Continuously Controlled Damping adjustable suspension found in the 2013 MKT and MKS.

An all-new Lincoln Design Studio is in the making in Michigan under Wolff's direction, and when complete will be the first time the brand has had its own space since the seventies. Here, a dedicated team is planning to create a line of seductive vehicles, starting with the MKZ Concept. Let's hope they stick to their word.

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